Rhinos v Wolves: Teams
At Wembley, Saturday August 25, kick-off 2.30pm
Last Updated: 26/08/12 1:43pm
Leeds will be looking to upset the odds when they take on Warrington in Saturday's prestigious Challenge Cup final at Wembley.
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Lance Todd Trophy winner: Including Lee Briers 4/1, Kevin Sinfield 6/1. Bet now on the big match
The Rhinos are firm underdogs to get their hands on a trophy they last won in 1999 with a 52-16 win over the London Broncos. Since that triumph at the old Wembley Leeds have lost five Cup finals, including a 30-6 defeat at the hands of Warrington in 2010.
The Wolves have won two of the last three finals, also getting the better of Huddersfield 25-16 in the 2009 showdown.
The Rhinos are appearing in their 23rd Cup final - only Wigan with 29 have a better track record - but they are aiming to avoid becoming the first club to suffer three consecutive final defeats at the famous venue.
Hull lost in three successive finals from 1908-10 but that was well before the game was moved to Wembley.
Leeds will be hoping to draw upon their Grand Final form having won five of the last eight super League titles, while the Yorkshire club also stunned Warrington in last season's play-off semi-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Warrington have been one of Super League's best teams this season, including recent wins over St Helens and leaders Wigan prior to last weekend's surprise 62-18 loss to the Broncos.
Wolves coach Tony Smith insists his troops will not be underestimating the challenge posed by the Rhinos, stating the champions can beat anyone on their day.
"They are a very tough opposition. They are a good and dangerous team and can perform at the highest level," he told the club's official website.
"They've shown that they are the sort of team that make you play for 80 minutes and if you don't, they can hurt you; they put you on edge. But at the same time if we perform we can be dangerous ourselves and can prove to be a handful as well."
Centre Chris Bridge was the notable omission when Smith announced his 19-man squad.
Bridge was in the Warrington team that beat Huddersfield both in the 2009 final and in last month's semi-final but has made only one appearance over the last five weeks. Utility back Stefan Ratchford has taken his place.
The former Salford man was at scrum-half in the 33-6 win over the Giants but that spot has gone to Richie Myler, who was left out of Warrington's team for the 2010 final.
Paul Wood, Michael Monaghan and Tyrone McCarthy have won places on Smith's bench, although Mike Cooper and Simon Grix have been dropped, the latter missing out for the third time.
Smith admits Grix has accepted his decision: "He's taken it really well. It's a tough call. This is his third miss for us and our thoughts go out for him.
"He realises he hasn't quite hit the form needed since his return from injury. He's 18th man and willing to contribute as best he can and be prepared for anything that might eventuate before kick-off."
Meanwhile, Rhinos coach Brian McDermott is not worrying about the club's poor record in Challenge Cup finals, stating that the team believe they can win this time around.
"I'm not bothered about recent history," said McDermott. "We're not going there to win it because we've lost the last few.
"We're going there to win it because it will feel fantastic to win. We can't be motivated by being scared to death to lose because of what's gone before."
As expected, Leeds have recalled hooker or half-back Rob Burrow after he recovered from a calf strain which forced him to miss the last two matches.
German youngster Jimmy Keinhorst and experienced forward Richard Moore have been trimmed from coach Brian McDermott's initial 19-man party.
Leeds: Z Hardaker; B Jones-Bishop, K Watkins, C Ablett, R Hall; K Sinfield (capt), S Ward; K Leuluai, R Burrow, J Peacock, J Jones-Buchanan, B Delaney, R Bailey.
Subs: D Griffin, C Clarkson, I Kirke, S Lunt.
Warrington: B Hodgson; C Riley, R Atkins, S Ratchford, J Monaghan; L Briers, R Myler; G Carvell, M Higham, C Hill, T Waterhouse, B Westwood, B Harrison.
Subs: A Morley (capt), M Monaghan, P Wood, T McCarthy.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield)
Challenge Cup final 2012
Warrington are determined to end their play-off woes following their Challenge Cup triumph over Leeds.
Richie Myler admitted being left out of Warrington's 2010 Challenge Cup win made being part of this year's success all the sweeter.
Warrington coach Tony Smith was full of praise for Lance Todd Trophy winner Brett Hodgson after the Challenge Cup final win over Leeds.
- Wolves win at Wembley again
- McDermott's cup defence
- Briers warns team-mates
- McDermott hails mentor Smith
- Monaghans relishing cup final
- Sinfield backing Ward
- Smith has faith in Wolves
- Hall - Trophy before tries
- Morley's fire still burning
- Hardaker targets Wembley impact
- Lunt grateful for final chance
- Burrow fit for the final
- Morley chasing 'Holy Grail'
- Sinfield eyes best form